Biloxi city council split on who will get CAO position

Biloxi city council split on who will get CAO position
The chief administrative officer position for the City of Biloxi remains open after a decision was delayed at Tuesday's council meeting. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The chief administrative officer position for the City of Biloxi remains open. Mayor FoFo Gilich chose Councilman Paul Tisdale to do the job. But a final decision by city council members was pushed back.

Councilman Robert Deming said he wants someone who has plenty of municipal experience, something he believes Paul Tisdale lacks.

"I spoke to Paul Tisdale personally. I also spoke to the mayor. I spoke to our legal council. I spoke to all the council members. I called the council members individually," Deming said. "There's a lot of indecision, questions and concerns we weren't being prudent enough without taking other applications."

But insiders say Tisdale is a favorite for the position because he does have relevant experience.

"Paul Tisdale ran Biloxi Public Schools, which has a similar budget, and similar number of employees," City spokesman Vincent Creel said. "He dealt with setting public policy and dealing with public money. He has vast experience in that."

Creel said Mayor Gilich has been vocal that he wants Tisdale for the job.

"He is willing to serve for free. This will save the citizens of Biloxi over $105,000," Creel explained.

But not everyone agrees that's a selling point.

"I feel like this position is too important to be a volunteer position," Councilwoman Dixie Newman said. "I feel like we need to get more applicants and if Tisdale is the most qualified then, of course, he's more than welcome to take that position."

"I know Paul Tisdale was with the school board for quite some time. However, the city and the school board are two very different things. The school board is a very controlled environment and the city is nothing but moving parts," Deming said.

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